Cheese Fritters with Lemon Pesto

June 14, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Prep time 10 hours
  • Cook time 10 hours
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I love the combination of crusted cheese with pesto
Kitchen Butterfly

Test Kitchen Notes

It's hard not to love warm, gooey, oozy, stretchy cheese with a crispy coating. The basil and lemon add lots of fresh flavor. Eat immediately, mixing and matching lemon, basil, cheese, pesto and bread in whatever combinations you like. - Stephanie
—The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Cheese fritters with pesto
  • 200g soft cheese (mozzarella, goat's cheese, etc), cut into 8 thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons panko (or coarse breadcrumbs)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • Olive oil, to shallow fry
  • Lemon pesto (recipe below)
  • Lemon zest and basil leaves, to garnish
  • Slices of Italian bread, to serve
  • Lemon Pesto
  • A handful of basil leaves, washed and shaken to rid excess water
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons flaked almonds, dry-roasted
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup (extra virgin) olive oil
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (I used my microplane)
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Cheese fritters with pesto
  2. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Mix well and set in a wide plate. Dip each piece of cheese in the seasoned flour, on both sides.
  3. Follow by placing floured cheese rounds in the egg, turning over so both sides are dipped then finish off by crumbing in the panko.
  4. Set a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and gently heat then place the breaded cheese rounds, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
  5. Let each side fry for 1-2 minutes till golden. Flip over and repeat on the other side.
  6. Remove and serve immediately with lemon pesto and extra strips of lemon zest
  1. Lemon Pesto
  2. Put the basil leaves and garlic clove in a mortar and pound well till leaves are soft and bruised and garlic is crushed.
  3. Add the almonds to the mortar and with a circular motion of the pestle, crush them….. to bits.
  4. Using a spoon, add a tablespoon of the Parmesan and then loosen with some of the oil. Add more Parmesan, follow this with more oil, till you have the consistency you like. I like mine fairly loose so I tend to add more oil. When you have the consistency you like, add the lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice then salt to taste. Stir well and set aside.
  5. (If using a food processor, you’ll need to drizzle the oil in and that’s one area you have to watch out for if you’re using extra virgin olive oil as it contains bitter tasting polyphenols coated by fatty acids, which prevent them from dispersing. If the oil is emulsified in a food processor, these polyphenols get squeezed out and the liquid mix turns bitter ( as read here:

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • lapadia
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • mrslarkin
  • MyCommunalTable
I love food and I'm interested in making space for little-heard voices, as well as celebrating Nigerian cuisine in its entirety.

12 Reviews

boulangere August 11, 2011
Oh how beautiful! I can almost taste the stretchy cheese, the crunch, the bright flavors.
lapadia August 11, 2011
Yum, loved these a year ago and still do :) !!!!
lapadia August 11, 2011
I have NO clue why my comment is there twice...hmm, maybe because I loved this recipe last year and this (?)!!!
lapadia August 11, 2011
Loved these a year ago, and still do!!!!
Kitchen B. June 17, 2010
Thanks for your comments....let me know if you try it!
mrslarkin June 16, 2010
This sounds yummy, KB. Thanks for the recipe.
MyCommunalTable June 15, 2010
I am definitely going to make this. Love the mildness of the cheese with acid of the lemon. Fabulous combo.
cheese1227 June 15, 2010
Very interesting.
Jennifer A. June 15, 2010
These look amazing! I cannot wait to try them.
Kitchen B. June 17, 2010
They aren't bad, though the photo doesn't nearly do them justice. See, my camera is in the shop and I've had to resort to my kids 3MP camera.......Thanks
lapadia June 15, 2010
Love lemon, love mozzarella and love this combo!
Loves F. June 14, 2010